By nearly all accounts, First Lady Melania Trump’s blue cashmere Ralph Lauren suit was a rousing success at today’s inauguration festivities.
So it came as no surprise to many, that the former model proved to be equally stunning at tonight’s inaugural balls, wearing a white, off-the-shoulder white crepe gown by designer Hervé Pierre, (the former creative director for designer Carolina Herrera). Highlighted by a gentle swirl of ruffles at the bodice and a thin red ribbon at the waist, the dress was further accented by a plunging slit along the left side. According to USA TODAY, Melania worked on the design with Pierre.
Ivanka Trump also dazzled, in a Carolina Herrera princess gown with a tulle skirt and crystal embellishments.
Karen Pence, wife of vice president Mike Pence, opted for a sapphire blue gown, designed, according to one report, by Indiana dressmakers Sarah Knochel, Joyce Hittesdorf, Donna Christian, Cathy Runion, Whitney Luckenbill and Ellen Blacketer, who made the dress (and those of all the Pence daughters and daughter-in-law) out of a small shop called “Something Wonderful” in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Broad Ripple.
With her hair styled loose over her shoulders, Melania Trump took center stage with the president for their first dance, as the two swayed to a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
“It looks absolutely amazing on her,” said CNN anchor Erin Burnett, noting white is a tough color to pull off.
“They’re bringing New York glamour to Washington,” said CNN’s Kate Betts. “Much in the same way that Nancy Reagan brought Hollywood glamour to Washington.”
First lady fashion has long made headlines – just look at the sartorial legacies of Jackie Kennedy (who Melania evoked at Donald Trump’s Friday afternoon swearing-in ceremony, dressed in sky blue Ralph Lauren), Reagan, who favored James Galanos, and of course, Michelle Obama.
At a pre-inauguration dinner on Thursday, the new first lady wore a gold Naeem Khan dress. (Michelle Obama also supported Naeem Khan, wearing the designer to the Obamas’ first state dinner and again in 2010 to the Kennedy Center honors.)
Collaborating on her inaugural gown with Pierre was “organic,” the designer told Women’s Wear Daily. He noted that she has a very strong personal style and she “doesn’t plan to change it because of her new function. So it was fun to respect her very tailored sense of fashion and to translate it in a gown. The lines are sharp, the design has no fuss and reflects Mrs. Trump’s vision of fashion and the way she feels in a gown.”
And the new first lady’s fashion moment may just put Pierre, who spent 14 years at Herrera’s design house before leaving last February, on the map.
“It’s interesting to note this was the first time he struck out on his own,” said Blasberg. “In a weird way, perhaps we’ll see something similar to what Michelle Obama did with Jason Wu. Maybe she’s trying to foster a relationship with a new name on the fashion scene. This guy is going to be on the front page of every newspaper tomorrow.”
Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY ; Contributing: Sun-Times staff reporter Miriam Di Nunzio